Nightcat is a practicing witch who loves to write about Wicca and many of the Gods and Goddesses she’s had the pleasure to encounter.
His Favorite Statue
Approach the crossroads
If you have arrived here, Papa Legba may be calling you. Loyal visitors will notice a lot of revamping. Papa wants the hub to be more universal because he says he has many faces. So although the original basis was pure Haitian, I'll be including stories and info about his other forms.
He is akin to Exu, Eshu, Legbara and countless other spirits. Clever Anansi, New Orleans La-Bas. Coyote, Loki, he is a trickster of a thousand forms. He is everywhere at once, so they know him in New Orleans, Africa, Haiti, South America, everywhere. But even though he has countless faces and names, Legba remains the same spirit of the crossroads.
This page is meant to help witches understand who Papa Legba is. You'll get to know his likes, dislikes, wherre to find him and more. In my view he is the same spirit that appears everywhere, but I still deal with spirits such as Coyote or Eshu as distinct, though to me, they are in a sense, part of him.
No disrespect towards your own personal views or teachings is meant. As always all photography and writing are my original work. If copying for Internet use, a link back and credit where credit is due are appreciated. All videos are included for informational purposes only. If you won the content and want additional credit and links or a video removed, please contact me. The intro picture is one of my own Legba statues you can get a better look at below.
In Haiti the lwa are called into possession with song, but even lone practitioners can chante lwa, or sing the sacred songs to the lwa. You can just say the prayer, play a taped verions, or so on. Yes it is OK to use English. The videos below contain the songs, as do various websites for individual mambos or hougans.
Chante Lwa Are Sung To Invite The Lwa In
The Best Chante Lwa I've Ever Heard
Notice The Call And Response Of The Chante Lwa
Veve For Papa Legba
Each Vodoun spirit has a sacred symbol or veve, used to call on him or her. This is one of Legba's each Legba getting his own special veve. If you practice in a house they will explain the meaning of the veve, but you can easily see some attributes like his staff.
Witches or anybody else working with his should either print a copy of a veve, or hand draw one. In Haiti it would be drawn on the ground outside in cornmeal or another grainy material.
His veve is courtesy of Wikipedia
I love this video! His colors here, red and black are from New Orleans Voodoo. In Haitian Vodoun they use red and white. There red and black are reserved to honor the hottest lwa, the Petro spirits!
But he is a loving spirit and not likely to show up hot and angry unless you've been really disrespectful or hurt his feelings. So use the colors or system your prefer. I use a little of both since Rada (cool) Legba has a sense of humor and ways of getting both to suit himself.
He also enjoys toys and other goodies we will get into later.
Papa Legba The Gate Keeper
Legba Is Often Saluted With Other Spirits
Why so Many Forms?
Legba has countless forms. Most often in Haiti he is seen as an old African man. Mine of course is white as a lily (as he puts it he can pass for white, but who is anyone to tell him what color he can be?) and wears a red robe that looks more like a wizard's than anything else. Even that staff of his looks magical in the Western sense. Just not proper for Papa Legba, according to tradition. Now we humans tend to resent Legba acting like this because we want him in a box. He refuses. So he shows us he is Legba, but he is Eshu too. He is Exu. He is Coyote, he is Crow and Raven. As soon as we have that straight and accept it he will insist he is simply Legba. He stares at us with a million faces, and just when we think we have him pinned down, he leaps away from us, laughing.
He is a lot like Loki. Capable of visiting Divine Madness on people. Misue or abuse of his power always comes back on us. No matter how many times I try to stick my Legba back into the impotent old man of Haiti box, he bursts free. Dancing and singing, he taunts me, daring me to pick up the box and try again.
He reminds me he is death to some folks, a role he rather resents having given up to Baron Samedi in the new world. Then he laughs because he is Baron Samedi. No matter how many pieces we hack him into he will restore himself. He is lord of sexuality as Eshu, even worse, he is a gender-bending, shape shifting, male or female lord or lady of this power.
You do have to be careful though. You never want to call on his brother Met Kalfou. It is all well and good to have a Wiccian view and see him as a balancing power, but he is pure chaos. He can't help but bring destruction wherever he goes. In Vodoun people only deal with him to make him go away.
That is my altar with just two of the many faces my Legba enjoys.
A Doll For Papa Legba
Dance With Papa Legba
I have an undefined form of arthritis. It got so bad at one point I could no longer walk. In despair I called out to Legba, asking him to help me. He agreed, but I would have to stay by his side, a loyal friend and provide and care for him. In return he makes sure I can walk without pain the majority of the time.
He got his first staff from me when he made me strong enough to walk without it. Now from time to time he gets my walking sticks out of gratitude for his love and healing. It might see unfair from a Judeo-Christian point of view, but this healing only lasts as long as I let Papa Legba share my life.
When I start having trouble walking, I realize I need to get straight with him. It isn't always food or things he wants. He wants respect, love. For me to honor the friendship part and not ignore him. EVERYTHING we do feeds our spirits. Our attention, how we live our life, even yes, talking to them.
If you have a relationship with Legba and he is asking for something, a new way of seeing him, a different type of relationship, being open about him in your life, listen. I fought against him for years, wanting to hold onto a pure Haitian view. Now that I've relaxed and let him take the lead, he and I are both so much happier.
Is it scary? Sure it is! Thousands of people would love to attack me for my views. I've been called a heretic, a shame to any African religion and so on. But I don't do what I do to buck the system. I do it because my spirits lead me to a place where we can interact in freedom and happiness.
Learning to trust Legba is the scariest lesson we can all learn. But he isn't going to get bored and drop you. Yes Legba tricks people, but he isn't a cruel spirit. He doesn't lead you somewhere then abandon you. He always and forever holds those he loves close to him. Legba adores humanity and only asks us to come dance with him.
Well, he also asks that I remind readers that he loves stories. You will have a very interested Legba if you tell him one or two. If you are lucky he will tell you one himself. Of course being Legba he may just turn around and ask you whoever heard of him liking stories.
These videos show different experiences of Legba. He can be sweet, or he can frighten you half to death with how much power he carries. The hardest thing for witches is to learn to give over the role of opening and closing a circle to him.
His opening the gate and closing it is the same action, though you can still envision protective light at first, it is part of his job to protect you. It took me a while to trust him for protection, but as he dryly pointed out, he's stronger than me, and has been doing his job a lot longer than I have. He then did an exaggerated version of his limping walk to remind me it is from walking in both worlds.
Witch Speaks About Papa Legba
Papa Legba, The Voodoo Basics
St. Anthony Or Papa Legba?
Why Is St. Anthony Used To Represent Him?
Firstly, slaves had little choice but to use what was on hand. Remember that if they were found practicing any relgion other than Catholicism they would be brutalized. Also both gentlemen have much in common. Gruff and no nonsense as he can be at times, Legba does indeed love children. They are all like him to a point after all. They would all wander off if not tied down by society.
Both men prefer work clothes. Nothing fancy. Just a worn robe and hat that's all Legba desires. He likes his travel-worn clothes. He loves his battered old hat and cast off sack. Is this his way of remembering how slaves dressed? Or just part of his eccentric nature? Don't bother asking him. He will say 'yes' to both questions simultaneously. Then roar in laughter over your puzzlement.
Both are experts at uncovering the hidden and finding lost items. In Legba's case some might say, with all due love and respect, he hid them in the first place. Legba does have some differences though.
He walks with a cane. Mine prefers a staff of bamboo. Again nothing fancy, a garden stake, really. This represents the porteau-mitan or gateway that he controls. Without his say-so nothing and I mean nothing passes up or down this center pole of the universe. He is the closest to God you see (a lot like Saint Anthony's devotion to the baby Jesus), and the only one entrusted with this responsibility.
There's not enough room in one hub to go into proper detail, but he is the one in Vodoun who carries all your prayers and offerings to the other lwa. Please him and he will do so. Offend him and you will see what happens.
St. Lazurus is also used to represent him. For Legba seems lame and always has his dogs with him. The limp or drug leg comes from walking in both worlds at once. His dogs some say are a gift from his brother Ogou, to protect and serve Legba as he travels. You might not see them, but they are there. Some say they were his own dogs given to him by God. Whatever they are, they serve him faithfully.
St. Peter too is used. For Legba alone holds the keys to the gates. If the saints offend your pagan senses, try a statue of an older man. The shabbier the condition of said gentleman the better. Remember Legba is ever on the move he has no time for fancy clothes or pomp. For all his power, Legba is very humble. He can at times weep with joy that people remember to treat him well.
Legba and Bones
Offerings For Papa Legba
Number: 3, multiples of 3
His day varies. Mine likes Tuesday, but also Monday. A wise man said every day is Legba's. You think that is heavy? My Legba is writing this and yours is reading it. All communication is his.
Legba's traditional color is red or red and white in Haiti, except when it isn't. Being Legba he as acquired sackcloth brown, yellow, green, blue, and whatever else pleases him in some houses. Mine has one bottle I made him in red and black. He uses these colors in New Orleans Voodoo.
His brother Kalfou was sniffing around too much. Being clever, Legba told me if I made him another bottle he'd be sure to use the color as his Exu self of Santeria to keep his brother away. Now I want to be clear, that is not traditional Haitian Vodoun. Black and red are reserved for the hottest angriest lwa.
But he was plenty angry that his brother refused to leave me alone. I have no idea what he did, and most likely don't want to know. But he has protected me ever since.
He likes bread, he'd love some cassava, but will settle for any flat bread or toast. He will take you on your word, so never say: 'Well, I would buy you a ton of cassava bread. But they don't sell it anywhere." He will be sure to find a place for you to buy it. You can make it too.
He smokes a corncob pipe which is a nice offering. Mine of course insists the toy pipe I got him as a place holder is the most wonderful pipe ever. He flat out refused a real one to replace it. Go figure. Of course he later insisted on a nasty old pipe we found on a bench. I told him no, he pressed, so now he has this nasty old pipe and refuses a new one. He said he could of smoked it and it might be his. I told him it is probably from some guy with trenchmouth. But what Legba wants, he gets.
A Straw Hat Any kind is fine. Try to find a balance between style and cost.
A Cane: A cane, a staff, but something to help Papa walk. No, I would not offer him a wheelchair.
Tobacco for the pipe. Not too much. Mine just got a rather large bag, but he earned it with lightning fast response (think less then ten minutes) and finding something dear to a family member. The cost was far less than the heartache my family member felt.
Roasted, some say parched corn. Some Legbas love hot pepper sprinkled on this, some prefer plain. Almost all prefer a non sweet corn.
Coffee. Just one small cup, black please. Unless your Legba says otherwise. The cheaper the better. My Legba drinks the same rotgut quality of java I do.
A nice cloth for the altar in his color. Red or red and white are traditional. But if your Legba strongly insists on another, give it to him. Remember keeping him happy is what matters. He loves and looks after you. Internet trolls? Not so much.
On candles each house has something to say. Some insist it is red. Some say no, he is pure, give him white. Some houses even us red and white striped candles to be safe. Others swear by yellow, or blue. Or even black. But if your Legba insists on another color, please listen to him.
He also likes: pennies, rice, yams, palm oil, roses, black coffee. etc.
BTW, the statue does have arms! I wanted robes and a simple sash on him so he would look like my Legba. The rose is one of his flowers, and I handmade and painted the paper bead necklace for him.
Legba Loves Roasted Yams
This part he did want posted. Today he did something wonderful for me along with some others. So I figured I'd cook up a yam the right way and give him some. I mean I peeled it, chopped it, put it in the oven, cooked it. So when it came out, amazingly well, I fed first my patron. Then later a plate all his own for Papa Legba.
They insisted I take the remaining yam and eat it. Well at first I thought I'd ruined it. There was no sweetness to it, more of a smoky flavor. I started to apologize, but apparently that is how he likes them. Legba said it tasted a lot like the ones from Haiti, but I figure he was being nice.
Still, he'd like for me to pass along the recipe.
raw sunflower seeds
Peel and chop the yam. Try to aim for the chunk size that comes out of a can. Line a baking dish with foil. I used one where the cut yams were slightly above the top and were all piled up. Add your sunflower seeds and raisins.
Pour on a generous amount of syrup. Melt about one cup butter in microwave, add to dish. Cover with foil. If you used enough you can just crinkle it up like a hobo pack. Put in a 400 oven for about one and a half hours.
Check them from time to time as ovens vary. You can move them around a bit so all the yams get a chance in the syrup butter goodness. Yams are done when fork tender.
Legba Also Enjoys New Foods
I bought the squash with the vauge idea of eating healthy. Not, between you, me, and the fence post, that I have any idea of what that is.
After I cooked and gave a taste, Legba surprised me by asking for some. Never cooked or tasted the like before, so I'm delighted he likes it. Remember the simpler the prep the more he tends to like food. Humble, Legba is. Or as mine puts it, he likes something he could cook at the roadside. Or have me cook for him.
Cut squash in half, scraping out seeds and the pulpy bits for a smooth surface. Don't worry if some of the stringy stuff remains, but it will tend to burn in the oven. Places squash halves on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. I did mine in a convection (toaster) oven and it came out great.
Remove, use fork to scrape out that spaghetti style goodness, toss with butter. I found it to be naturally sweet and both Legba and I liked it as is. But the nice folks from Nature's Delight suggest adding salt, pepper and a cheese of your choice.
Altars For Legba Tend To Grow
A Little Story
OK, a quick story for you. Today I wanted to go to the crossroads and collect some earth for Papa Legba. Now even though I was getting this for him, I was taking it from his sacred space. So I took three pennies, and three sticks of gum as an offering and thank you. I knew I would owe him more than that for this sacred earth, but it was my way of honoring him and showing him my love and devotion.
On my way I found some other things I could use in service of the spirits, a good sign. I got to the crossroads, Legba's sun shining down on me. Of course in daylight, honey, you don't need to be at a four way stop at midnight for safety reasons. Even though midnight is his sacred time in New Orleans, you can go any time you need him in Haiti.
So I put down my offering and told Papa I was there for the earth for his altar. Now I had asked him permission ahead of time and knew I'd be stopped somehow if he wasn't happy. Well, success! But the earth was wet, so I started a litany of apologies. You see around here he might be getting all clay that would be, well, smelly as clay is wont to be. But it didn't smell then so I hoped for the best.
As I was walking home Papa falls in step with me as he likes to do. He starts admiring my walking stick. There isn't a stick I've ever had that he hasn't admired. Well he says, if I really loved him, and truly wanted to honor him, I'd give him the stick too. I sighed because I loved my stick. But of course I agreed because I love him more.
When I got home I found an earthen bowl for the soil. The soil was lovely and smelled sweet! Papa Legba was happy with me. I put the soil in the bowl and added his new walking stick near the altar. Later I would add a red tea candle on the soil for him as that is traditional.
On the day I honor him I'll add some lovely atomic fire balls as an offering and some coffee. For I'm dedicating this new altar as thanks and love to him for being with me. The important thing to see is that it is the love and devotion he craves. The things give him energy, yes, but Legba desires love above all else. Example, that hot mess is what he is happy with from me.
He Rules Communication
How Legba Can Help You
Legba will guard your sacred circle, making sure only those gods, spirits, or energy you want gets in. He will block any other energy, defending you at your most vulnerable. He can teach you better ways to do things, like opening the circle, casting energy, just about anything as everything we do in ritual is about communication.
He can guide you to the tools, books, and training you need. Legba will happily open the gate for you if he feels that is the path you are meant to be on. If he seems to be doing all he can to block your forward progress he has a good reason. That or you have ignored him for a while.
Legba knows all languages so if he is so inclined he can lead you to a deeper understanding of the language your system uses. Even if it is dratted Latin or Old English. Now some in Haiti would say he can only pull out the knowledge inside you, but even so he will unlock the gifts you have for you.
He can also introduce you to other lwa who want to work with you. More importantly he can tell you just how to approach them so they are happy to see you. I know it is hard for us witches but the lwa demand more respect than our laid back gods, and Legba can teach you how to give it in a loving manner.
Yes, he can find lost things, but I wouldn't just use him as a Saint Anthony substitute. Remember he wants paid for finding that lost object. If you don't it and several other items may be missing the next time you look. Legba isn't being cruel, just teaching you that all dealings with the lwa must be done with respect and payment.
He is a master shapeshifter. Eshu/Legba can help you transform on the astral realm, master dream powers, and advanced magics. But in his shapeshifter form he tends to change genders and forms to delight himself. So don't be surprised if a woman shows up to help you.
And of course you should always remember him on his day or days. Here he is honored with his brother Balendjo.
Mine Loves His Santas
Here he has a white candle in a red votive holder. The equal-armed cross is his symbol since it represents the crossroads. Stop grinding your teeth, he didn't steal it from the Goddess. He also has 21 pennies as an offering (he is fond of pennies) and the red book is a gift. You can use a red cloth even red paper or felt. Add a cup of strong black coffee and maybe some roasted peanuts or popcorn and you are done.
His Favorite Books
My Legba loves these books. They talk about him both in fiction and non-fiction. He likes the fiction better. He used them to show me he is much more than some nice old man I can give offerings to once in a while. He is the great magnificent Legba, also known as Eshu, Exu, and other forms.
A Story, A Story
My meditative trip to the astral realm had one blip. All day I had been avoiding him. The heebie-jeebies of all the horror stories I'd ever heard were in full force. He will pick you up only to drop you, folks say. The higher he raises you, the faster and harder you will fall. Visions of a Godzilla-sized Legba letting me got splat on the pavement made me nervous. Well, more nervous than usual.
It was Tuesday, his day in petro rites. I looked up as I approached his crossroads. Approached his crossroads? Had I walked here on autopilot? Legba was already there waiting, smoking his pipe. He had his dark skin on today. I had expected his robes, but he had a worn old suit on. Visions of a feeble old man struggling to make it by on the kindness of others flashed in my mind and I flooded with guilt. He ignored me at first, but I sensed I was late. How could I be late when I didn't even know I was coming? Belatedly, I remembered it was Tuesday.
I hadn't lit his candle or honored him because I wanted to avoid his Petro side. Didn't people say his was a foul-tempered old grouch in Petro? He must have read my mind, because he brought his head up sharply and glared at me. Great. Just what I needed another sharp-toothed growly lwa. All these thoughts slowed me down and I forgot to make good my escape.
"Hello, Papa." I said, all apologetic grin. "How are you today?"
He snorted in contempt. "As if you care. An old man could starve to death, waiting on you, girl. But maybe you think old Papa Legba ought to go get himself a shoeshine box and go work at a train station? When did you last feed me, hmm?" His glare deepened, but he continued before I could reply. "This isn't about food, or coffee, though your Goddess knows you like to make me suffer. Why" here he leaned in close, his breath passing over my face "are you running from me? Where is this new disrespect coming from?"
I tried to make my suddenly dry mouth work, but it wouldn't. Weakly I managed to squeak out: "You know the stories about you, Papa." He rolled his eyes in contempt. Legba stood back, looked me up in down in utter disgust.
"Who are you going to believe, girl? A pack of fools or your Papa Legba? Didn't I say you could trust me?" I squeaked an affirmative. "Candle. Now. Coffee. Now." He growled. Somehow the things were with me, and I hastily lit the candle and set the coffee at the crossroads.
Though I felt stupid doing so, considering he was standing right there, I started to call to him, in a ritual manner.
"Sing." He growled. So I sang, though I sound like a cat dipped in boiling oil. Legba was enjoying watching me squirm. This seemed to please him. No longer angry he leaned forward and folded me into his embrace. "That's a good daughter." He soothed as he stroked my hair. " Don't make your Papa angry through neglect or trusting what fools say about him. Now scat!" He gave me a good whack to the backside with one of his leathery hands.
Happily I left the astral realm, feeling slightly dazed. Of course, Papa Legba often leaves me dazed and confused. The moral being, my sweet brothers and sisters, that if Legba truly was so terrible, he'd have done things that surpass a g-rating to punish my blatant disrespect. He can be gruff, and I have an unfortunate talent for raising his temper, but it cools as quickly as it rises.
Legba Is Not An Angry Old Man
The only time I ever saw Legba angry was when I let myself be lured away from the other lwa by Met Kalfou. He was clever you see, and pretended to be my great friend. After all witches know what it is like to be labeled as evil and destructive, right? Before I knew it, I was following him away from a path of goodness and reason. I was also losing all contact with my beloved lwa. Too late, I sent up a frantic prayer to Legba, though he is not known to pity fools.
The darkness of Kalfou's world exploded in light and sound. Legba literally tore me out of his brother's realm, screaming at me for the first and only time. He was holding me high off the ground with one hand, shaking me as he raged. Legba then sent me soaring, only to crash down to the earth. Hard. He was beside me instantly, his eyes fiery red. His staff repeatedly hit the ground and air around me, as I rocked from side to side, cowering in front of his wrath. Each blow of the staff shook the ground, this was it, surely he was going to kill me.
How stupid and foolish could I be? He asked. He had warned me himself. Did I know he could have left me there? He should have, if I was so ungrateful, so disloyal, so mistrusting and so forth. I dimly recall my other spirits being there and being angry, but all I could see were Legba's eyes. They were blazing with rage, but fear lurked in them too. After he had yelled at me, Legba abruptly turned his back on me.
He spoke again, but his voice was so low I had to crawl closer to hear him. He asked me, rather calmly if he thought he meant to hit me with his staff. I could hear the rejection he felt in his voice. He had stopped speaking, his shoulders sagged. Suddenly he seemed much older than his years. Not only had I failed to listen to and trust him, I had chosen his brother over him. But still I knew, he loved me far too much to ever hit me in a wrathful manner.
No, I said. He'd given me a few love taps with it before, so I knew if he wanted to he would of. The staff, being among other things was his way to clear any of his brother's energy. All those crashing blows that shook the ground were Legba fighting his brother's influence off.
Did I realize, he continued, that he could have lost me? Had I left him and my good sweet lwa willingly, he'd have no choice but to abandon me. He warned me to be more careful in the future, then beckoned me over to him. I went meekly, expecting a swat. But he embraced me and I could feel his tears of relief mingle with my own.
He rocked me back and forth, asking me what I expected him to do if he lost me. I was the only one this exact part of him could be with. Did I want him to be lonely, with no one to care for him? He stroked my hair, keening in his grief. I grieved as well for I had hurt my most beloved and loyal advisor. The only one who asked for so little in return for his goodness. What could I do, I asked, if I lost him? My sun, my universe. Life simply would not be worth living without his light and love to warm me.
I am still in awe that Legba cared that much that he ripped me away from his brother's clutches. He's fought to close any influences Kalfou had let into my life, and the mere mention of his brother's name is enough to send me running to his sheltering arms. But I figure if you can learn from my experience it can spare poor Legba some grief. He is very loving and kind, and a total warrior who will fight on your behalf.
He might be old, but the only anger I've ever seen him display in on behalf of those he loves.
His Tests Are Unexpected
It was Halloween 2012. The remnants of Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy had made this area cold, rainy, and a bit dangerous to walk in. Even the local library was closed. To interupt my bliss the phone rang. Librarian, books were in. I sighed and went. She was doing me a favor as she was closed.
Well at a crossroads, under a bush, I see a purse. A million thoughts flash through my mind. Maybe a woman set it down and got on the bus and forgot it. Maybe she hid it there and is coming back. Maybe it was stolen.
It was upside down with the contents out, so I'm guessing stolen. I put the stuff back in, picked it up, took it to the library. Strangely enough there were people there who knew the woman who owned the purse.
They figured it had been stolen from her car. We have a lot of that around here, lately. Anyhow, I got three slips for a contest, instead of two, but didn't bother protesting. Them coming home, Legba tells me it was a test.
Trust me the purse was to-die-for, and who knows if there was a wallet inside. But I reisted temptation and turned it in. Legba told me a reward would be at home for me, and of course a package was on my doorstep shortly after.
I'd hate to think of what he would have done if I had kept it. Sigh, his tests are so tempting.
More recently, he has been urging me to use photos of his things on this lens. I was taught not to for a reason I don't even remember, but I suppose if it is his idea, nothing will happen to me. I still made sure to ask his permission since he is known to change his mind about things.
The elf for example, is his, hanging out on his bookcase, in front of his books. One trait my Legba has that is never mentioned is the most startling blue eyes. They almost seem to glow. So the elf reminded me of him as both are said to be fond of minor pranks.
How-To Offering Video
Keep on Surfing!
He loves fireworks
This firework was set of New Year's 2013 right after the ball drop. If you look closely you can see the staff symbol from his veve on the left.
Even if He Whispers, Listen
Sometimes Legba will try and block your way, for your own good. Recently I was so excited to find a certain group. For some reason every time I went to the group site my computer would strangely log off the site.
OK... Well it turns out there was a reason. My Legba knows I have a huge heart. I love most people with two exceptions: haters and those who hurt others. I have never bought into the eye for an eye mentality of our culture.
Well I checked my e-mail today to find a hate-filled rant from the leader, aimed at a truly beautiful transgender woman. That's a lady who was born male but felt trapped and became a beautiful lady. This brave lady posted a transformation video, pretty brave if you as me since she will now be a walking target to people just like the foaming at the mouth ranter who sent me the note.
Now the woman who sent this hate-filled rant does have good qualities, I'll give her that. But Legba was doing his best to protect me from a situation where he knew I'd be personally hurt and forced to leave.
Because I'll pick any new woman brave enough to enter the world of women and to go public with her journey. I say right on sister! She certainly has a Legba pulling for her since he rules over communication and would have inspired her to be brave enough to share. Ogu too of course and a whole other passle of lwa.
There's a good point: the lwa do not hate anybody. They don't care if you are straight, LGBT, had a sex change or do whatever you feel like. Witches in record numbers are heeding Legba's call because of that.
I had to remove some things the woman had posted and I shared here, but if you want a specific service for Legba let me know. I can recommend a few good reads, or dig up a site for you. Or I could dust my rusty brain off and write you one.
Remember as Legba tried to show me: never be ashamed to be a witch. Or to be gay or straight, or over the color of your skin, your weight, age, anything, ever. Legba loves and works with everyone.
That is one of his Santas on his bookcase. He loves books! Mine also likes Santas.
The first is the male to female transformation I told you about above. Remember Legba opens all pathways, so he surely must love her just the way she is. I say you go sister! Also an altar vid and other fun stuff.
Papa Legba's Peanut Chicken With Peanut Rice!
He was really wonderful recently, so on his special day I lit his candle and gave him coffee. But he earned a lot more than that. So I heated up some cooked chicken in some butter, added some meat rub, and peanut butter to make a nice sauce.
Then I boiled some instant rice with butter and peanut butter, plus cajun spices since he adores spicy food. Plated it all up in one of his favorite bowls and served with a cola since he likes sweets.
He blessed the food and thanked me, eagerly asking me to try some left over chicken and rice. Delicious of course though I'm still getting used to the African way of using peanuts. It tastes smoky, not sweet like an American sauce would. (For actual Africans laughing hysterically at this recipe, I've never been taught by African cooks you know. )
So he is training me to like the tastes he does, even though for Americans we'd like it with tons of sugar. You could also feel free to add hot peppers and spices to this as most Legbas love spicy food. But he's fond of peanuts as well.
Pull chicken off of bones, or open a can, he's not fussy. Mix with meat seasoning. Melt butter in pan, add chicken, tossing to coat in butter. Add enough peanut butter to coat chicken, toss, keep warm.
Put all ingredients in pot, bring to a boil. (See package directions to figure out rice and water portions.) Spices and such are to taste so use your own good judgment. Cover, let stand, serve when ready.
Lighting the Way?
This image is from the PC game, Book of Desires. In it a character meets you at a gate, and helps you open it. He walks leaning on an umbrella, and opens gates. Hmmmm. So my Legba was pleased when I pointed out in the review it looks a heck of a lot like him. Hey, he had to be clever and pick a form he knew would lure me in.
But my Legba loves lanterns. He insists The Hermit card in a Tarot deck belongs to him, for he lights the way. He not only opens the door, but helps us understand what we find on the other side. Communication, remember?
Without the light of his sun, his knowledge, his lamp, we stumble in darkness. Keep in mind he does not carry a light in any path of Vodoun I've ever encountered. But he does get bonfires and he is a solar lwa.
Mine's Favorite Video of All Time
He Also Likes This, That's My Lwa
I Love You Too, Papa
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Comments of Questions?
zorak1066 on May 06, 2020:
ps thought i'd mention, my Elegua presents himself differently from yours. we have a relationship based on faith and trust, rather than seeing him.. though he has on 2 occasions in the beginning manifested human form to teach me what i needed to see about myself. long story. he has also used electronic media to communicate on occasion.. sometimes to make my wife and i laugh while playing a game online. sometimes to reassure. on a scrabble based game he one day spelled out on the 'random' board, her name in connecting letters. first init. last name. another day he spelled out her name connected to 'did it'.. a personal ages old joke with her. i kept whinging that i didnt feel i was progressing in this path. i felt i could be doing more. he arranged a board that read 'T R U S T M E '. i find it interesting that in 30 plus years as a christian i was never more lost. i bounced to all manner of faiths never finding myself or anything divine. . . til he answered. i actually now WANT to be a better person to make him proud of his foster child, and i finally feel a very real connection to the Divine. he lead me to Ifa', and i am grateful.. trying to do everything correctly to honor the faith and the Yoruba people without a formal (human) Babalawo.. but Esu never steers me wrong! many blessings... peace.
zorak1066 on May 05, 2020:
merry meet.. Alafia..[peace]. update: very short form: i'm in a much better place. called out to the Universe for help and of all the world's divinities only Elegua answered. over the last 15 months or so ive been working hard to be better, more empathic, kinder, less judgemental, more open to things and accepting. Esu-Elegbara has been a very kind and extremely patient teacher. ive seen things.. learned stuff.. and have begun the process of becoming who i think i am meant to be. if nothing else, i finally stopped 'carrying' my father's corpse after 20 some years.. and have started working with my ancestors. yep.. finally the scales came off my eyes so much thanks to anyone sending positive energy after my last sad post. long way to go yet.. but now? i actually look forward to the journey to get there. Maferefun Elegua... Maferefun Baba Legba. our paths might be different but i honor and respect yours. i can honestly say, i actually like myself now :) ... namaste .. something i never could say with any conviction before. that which is divine in me, honors and acknowledges that which is divine in you. thank you.
Palomabadu on January 06, 2020:
TY!! & Papa Legba for allowing you to communicate this message to the public.. He (Papa Legba) has been speaking to me for a while I want to say years... over the summer I researched on him & other LWA but spirituality wasn’t ready yet since doing my first tarot reading Saturday the calling has gotten increasingly stronger before I make alter I want to do it right you have provided a wonderful start mixed with what I already
Peace & Blessings to you
Monique on December 08, 2019:
Thank you for such a wonderful, descriptive read as you've provided here. I can feel Legba calling me, have had him in my dreams but have no direction where to even start to have a relationship with him. I am very worried about doing something wrong yet I feel such deep love for him, as though he has always been waiting on me. Thank you again, this has helped give me just a little more to go on, to edge a little bit closer. Sending love.
Vivi on August 14, 2019:
Hi! I kept getting drawn to your page and finally stopped being stubborn!
It's a wonderful read and I wanted to thank you.
Have you had any updates? Are you even still blogging? Curious to know indeed!
Love and Light!
Helen Overend on April 25, 2019:
This was an outstanding read. I read the whole thing and found it fascinating. Papa would be proud of you indeed.
madhava108 on February 08, 2019:
Thank you for writing this page. I was writing a book that talks about the dreams and different worlds and central to that theme was the crossroads. Without out even knowing it Papa Legba seemed to appear on my pages, in his own form, and he's even speaking to me through the story. I originally meant to have my main character place an offering to Hecate, but then a older man with a twisting mahogany cane came by and is leading the story down paths I still have no idea where it will lead. Your page is exactly what I need to read to help me understand his nature outside of what he has told me through my story. Much love and health to you and yours!
Aissel on January 26, 2019:
Your article has lots of great information, but dear you need to go deeper in the Neo African Religions of the Caribbean to understand that changing Papa Legba to a white figure dishonor the ones who were slaves and came to the Caribbean and Latin America with only their arts and reliogions. It is disrispectful to the origins of it, to the people who if is not for them you would not have this information. So please this is not the same as a Goddess in Witchcraft, I know very well both Worlds and have to be treated differently. This is what is killing the Nation, the people who are not culturally competent.
Darkangel666 on December 28, 2018:
Thank you for this it’s been so informative!! I had something weird happen a few weeks ago, I saw a flashing light on the ceiling of my bedroom by the door, it was there so long I was able to draw it, after posting it to a website I’m on I was told it was Papa Legba veve (not a sigil as I’d originally thought), was it an invitation to contact him? Others thought so! I’ll admit it scared me as I didn’t have any experience with voodou or lwas at all! What did it all mean? Well it’s led me here and calmed my nerves about making contact! Thank you I feel totally enlightened! I’ll be contacting him or trying to anyway! Let’s hope I haven’t angered him by not trusting him in the first place! Wish me luck :-)
Amy on December 07, 2018:
WHOA!! i was gifted an amulet years ago i had no idea who gifted what it was nothing. So recently i kept hearing papa legba clear as day. i was literally saying it over and over about 2 or 3 months ago. this a.m. in meditation i heard it again and ended up finding his veve...its the amulet...somebody knew what i was before i did :) Thank you for your blog i sat here with my mouth open almost the entire way through. its amazing the doors that have been opened to me in recent years. I feel so amazing and it bubbles over to others!! Blessed be.
Omar on November 04, 2018:
Thank you my dear, very informative.
Hoonanea on October 25, 2018:
Awesome. I was watching AHS and they said his name and i pictured him in my mind. .. how is that possible when i dont even know who he is, im not a hatian witch and ive never heard anything about him before but ive seen the dipictions of the type of petson who showed up in the show. I want to give him an egg i think. He likes the blues maybe? Is He the patron of musicians? I dont have another hatian patron whats it mean if hes my first ? He is hecate silly girl@angel he morphs forms. Why does god want ti be worshiped in so many different ways ..? Only god knows
IGBST on September 06, 2018:
I have been hearing his name and voice in my head perfectly clear the past couple weeks. It got to the point I could no longer ignore it and wound up here while researching. Thank you so much for this. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
Rachel Rose on September 01, 2018:
Very interesting post. I'm glad I found it!
Rapha3lla on August 17, 2018:
zorak1066: I wish to send love and blessings to you.
Joe barlow on August 11, 2018:
I would like to know more about the colors used in casting and when making popets, etc.
zorak1066 on July 26, 2018:
greetings... i mean no disrespect. i am what i consider to be one of the walking dead. i have given up on god in the bible sense. i really dont believe in spirits, angels, or the divine anymore. ive never had any real evidence for me personally. i have no gods, no ancestors, no faith, and have nearly given up on hope. while life is nowhere near as bad as it could be, i still am near empty or dead inside. every day it gets harder to press on, but i do because i owe it to my wife.
for whatever reason ive always liked the concept of loki, raven, coyote, and even papa legba if i may call him by that. i find it interesting to me that of all the gods mankind has called out to, that this lily white , often close minded believer of nothing should feel drawn somehow to one of the yoruba lwa. old me would laugh after having read your article. this me respects what you posted and was wondering if you could ask your lwa a question?
i want to believe in something. how can the walking dead rekindle some kind of hope.. some kind of faith again inside? really starting to feel ground down into nothing and negativity. while i wouldnt actively harm myself, the emptiness is slowly killing me. ..as is the endless one step forward, three back life i find myself in. i'll spare you the details.
i apologize in advance if you are negatively impacted by my post in any way. my karmic crud and stormcloud tend to give ppl headaches. long ago i sat down for a reading with a Rom gypsy and he immediately had to break out the sage or whatever it was.. and got a sudden headache.
Tootie on July 07, 2018:
Angel.. it's not worship, it is respect, reverence, and love. Very personal and very real. If u do not love Legba, respect him, and reverence him, then I wouldn't even b concerned about it. Nurture ur relationship with Hecate, and live in your personal peace and quest. I must say however, the fact that u question a relationship with Legba, after all that has been written hear seems as though u are interested which is ok, and beautiful.
Linn on June 22, 2018:
I would love to hear more lately papa legba has been calling out to me I’m however not into voodou or any form of it I am a solitaire grey path witch who usually answers to the dead all the time can you please explain to me why he is calling me out to connect with him I rather choose not to contact him personally myself.
Angel on June 19, 2018:
Why would a witch worship papa legba if there is Hecate?
Keena Gillum on April 12, 2018:
dont forget the skeleton keys! oh and the rum that activates the veve!
Supreme38 on March 23, 2018:
I loved the article. Hop3 I can get close to papa legba like you cause I really need him
Michael on January 02, 2018:
Your article has a ton of information that i need to further study, but what blew me away was the opening bit of papa legba might be calling you. I've had dreams and a poem about him without knowing anything really about him. Its seems like he is reaching out and i'm looking forward to learning even more.
Autumn on November 05, 2017:
I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey. Thank you for sharing him with us.
Fe on October 20, 2017:
I have been trying to call out to papa legba several times and have had no luck. I do not live somewhere I can keep a huge shrine up and have reservations about entering a cemetery at night. I have offerings for him and drawn a copy of his symbols and put it in my window in hopes of reaching out to him. I feel like he does not wish to meet me. What can I do to have him come to me?
Anonymous on August 12, 2017:
I tried the chants nothing happened do I need something more, or how do I get to meet him I'm new to this
SarahRossB on July 13, 2017:
I was wondering what you can use to pay Papa Legba. Aside from the offerings, of course. I see comments mentioning what payment to give in return. I am not asking for personal or things you've given, just things in general that are common.
Felicia on July 10, 2017:
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for writing this wonderful heartfelt article!
He has visited me in human form twice. I had specifically asked him to do this and he heard me. But the first time I didn't know it was him. I DID KNOW the man standing in front of me was not fully human or really alive as strange as that sounds. Everyone else wanted him to go away. He almost looked homeless but he was very clean, no odors, no bad teeth. Just very very plain. He was standing by my shop in the mall (I had walked away & come back) He was drawing people and just the scenery. Everyone was avoiding him. He spotted me and looked excited and kept repeating "I came here for you. I promote Black Businesses" as he immediately started drawing me. I didn't know who he was or how to react. But my heart said don't push him away. He kept drawing me and my 3 children. He was happy to see that I have 3 children. He seemed to see no one else but me. He asked if I wanted him to leave, I couldn't really answer bc I just couldn't push him away. I felt so much love for him and from him. But as a total stranger I had my guards up. Since all I did was stutter instead of answering "Yes I want you to go away" he took my stutter to mean "No don't go" (lol)and he started repeating "Do not be afraid. I promote Black Businesses" and immediately went back to drawing me as he kept saying that.
Then he asked me if I had a pencil sharpener that I could give him... and in the most impatient way I grabbed 1 that just happened to be in my basket of beads (I'm a jewelry artist) and handed it to him. He instantly froze in the most direct intense stare that I've ever experienced and he slowly reached for it as if I had proposed and was handing him a wedding ring. That scared the crap out of me and I dropped the sharpener when I realized he couldn't find it bc he couldn't brake the gaze he had on my eyes.... He literally was waving his hand in the way you would reach for something in the dark bc his eyes were physically stuck on mine as if he couldn't bare to look away in order to see where my hand was with the sharpener. He had never started at me until that moment. In that moment I knew he was not a real person and I was scared to touch him so I dropped the sharpener and the sound made him jump. He picked it up and then put up 1 finger and nodded as if you say "Yes you're the one"
I (still not realizing who this was) said in an aggravated tone "are you alright? " he mumbled something and walked away but didn't leave. I looked up and he was staring. Then my children started playing with the pencils that he had on a bench and I walked over to stop them. He said it was fine and asked if he could buy my sharpener bc he really needed one (mind you Dollar Tree is right here!) I said "just keep it" and he said thank you and handed me a folded paper. Then he leaned close and in an authoritative way... very authoritatively, very firmly... He said "I mean what I wrote here. I mean what I said. It's serious. This is serious" and he was gone.
I opened it... on the left side be drew a big Ankh (Ancient Egyptian symbol of eternal life) and on the right he wrote that he once again walks amongst the living and that I possess a stone that was chipped from the stone that sealed his tomb (I collect and sell gemstones).
Despite feeling a little scared by that I instantly missed him once he walked away. I still hadn't realized it was him but I felt nothing short of being in love.
Now what I haven't mentioned yet is that a Haitian friend of mine was talking to me about Lwas.... She told me I was once Legba's wife and that's why when I mediate on him, with him and talk to him the love from him feels romantic. It never feels fatherly.
Then a customer of mine who also grew up in the Lwa tradition, she saw the note and how I described him and she immediately said "You know he wasnt a real person right? You know that was Eleggua right?"
She had no clue of my connection to Legba.
Well eventually he came back and this time he didn't draw me, he just walked past me very slowly and was glancing to see if I'd notice him. The first time he passed me he looked back to see if I was still looking at him at him. He stopped in his tracks, turned around to face me and tilted his head down while staying locked on my eyes. I didn't look away. After about 5 seconds I smiled and put 1 hand up to wave discreetly. He gave me a half smile and turned around and walked away. Then about 30 seconds later he was coming back my way, we locked eyes again but he kept moving. When he was in talking range I said "how are you" (couldn't think of anything better!) And he mumbled something and was gone again. I had a lot of customers at the shop unlike the 1st time so I think that's why he didn't talk to me this time.
I know He likes 3's and I know he'll be visiting me a 3rd time in that form.
I found your site because I googled "What to say when Papa Legba visits you" bc I don't want to be speechless and not make the best out of the encounter when it happens again. You said so many things about him that described the man who drew me.
I have decided to get a red and white journal and tell him how grateful I am for this experience and hand it to him with some gifts when I see him. I googled pictures of Papa Legba and immediately saw the man who drew me and my children agreed that it looked identical. I wish I could show you the picture.
If you have any suggestions or input for me please share with me. I can't thank you enough for typing this informative & loving narrative of him and your experiences with him. And thank you for reading mine.
The Headless Horseman on June 20, 2017:
Hey, this is great! Thank you!
Crane on March 30, 2017:
Okay I've read a lot on this hub and I find it really intriguing especially about papa legba, some of his names are in a local dialect in my country. I'll like to know more because to me everything is a myth until I can see clear signs. Is there any easy beacon to attract papa you can recommend night cat.
J on February 12, 2017:
thank you for this article :) i've recently been more and more involved with legba, i feel like we've began getting to know one another, let's me know things about him and vice versa. and your explanations have been more helpful than any other post i've read about him.
London on November 06, 2016:
I don't know why I clicked on this article, and I don't know why I kept reading, but when it got to the part about St. Anthony I felt like I understood.
My mum recently returned from a trip to Portugal and she brought presents for me. Along with a t-shirt ('Just because I'm awake doesn't mean I'm ready to do things!' haha), she'd bought me a tiny statue of St Anthony. This is HIGHLY unusual as she doesn't believe in praying to/ having statues of saints, but she felt drawn to it for me. When she bought it she asked the shop assistant what he was the Saint of and laughed because I constantly lose everything. We had a good giggle about that, put it on top of my cupboard, and I haven't looked at it since.
I guess I have some work to do.
Tudor Adrian Boloca on October 30, 2016:
Blessings to you, Nightcat, your post has been most inspiring and hope giving.
Nightcat (author) on September 15, 2016:
Hi, babygirl1414! Sorry for the late rely! Anyone can summon Papa! He's safe enough if you show him respect. He is powerful enough to teach anyone who doesn't a lesson, but you know better, right? For the first time just talking to him might do, don't rush into things. If you are in a rush, you greet him as we do before ritual to open the gate, and maybe his coffee and something to snack on would be nice. Start small! He's a clever one so feel free to wheel and deal with him. Best of luck, and if he doesn't come give him time.
Nightcat (author) on July 12, 2016:
Hi, Emily, sorry for the delay in replying. Some people cover offering and just go with what feels right. A wonderful idea is to have a little party, in that case his offerings will be out a few hours, then they can be taken away, and of course I've never seen Legba mind what happens after. What you can do is make enough that kitty can have a portion, Legba can have his and so on, hope that helps!
Emily A on June 28, 2016:
I have an odd question perhaps. I'd like to make an offering to Papa and talk to him if I can but how long do I keep these offerings out for him & how many times do you refresh these offerings? I feel silly and I mean no disrespect to him or you, its just that I live in NYC and don't want nasty critters. I also have a pretty naughty cat that I'm afraid may get whacked by his cane cause my cat steals my food from time to time
Nightcat (author) on June 02, 2016:
Hello, Connor. Everyone's experience with Papa Legba is different, the best I can say is to let him lead the way.
Connor on May 30, 2016:
I'm very intrigued by Papa Legba and I want to learn more but I have trouble finding resources online about him. The article is the best I've found and I have so many questions for you about your experiences.
Nightcat (author) on February 22, 2016:
Hello, Revy! It's entirely possible for you to have met him. As to how I won't pretend to know, but you certainly could have.
Revy on February 21, 2016:
Can you tell me if possible for him to have taken a physical form an enjoys carving wood? I think I might have met him I just don't know....
Nightcat (author) on February 19, 2016:
Hello, DancingSwan! Actually the lwa who rules romance is Ezili Freda. You can ask her to bring romance into your life and find the right love for you. I know that is hard to hear but sometimes not getting the one we love is a blessing is disguise. I’ll also give you some friendly advice, don’t give into the temptation to force this love. Enspelled love always blows up in our faces, sooner or later. You will no doubt get offers to do just that, but if you truly love this person you will have to accept if they do not share your feelings. You are still free to love them and the wonderful Freda can help you find a love worthy of you. We’ve all been there and it hurts, but she can help us move on.
DancingSwan on February 19, 2016:
Maybe I should start by asking this
The reason I started on this journey was because I need the help of an Iwa or god. I need help winning the love of someone who I have been deeply in love with for many years.
Is this something you think papa Legba would help me with?
Nightcat (author) on February 19, 2016:
Hello, DancingSwan. It sounds like you could use a good house or hougan or mambo to guide you at this point. If you don't have any in your area there are those who publish articles online and have more expertise as per the rituals than I would. I tend to be informal, but not all would agree with this. The proper mambo or hougan can get you started properly and many run online forums as well.
DancingSwan on February 18, 2016:
Sorry to bother again, but as I had mentioned I am new on this path and as such I have heard many different versions of the ritual. I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on the best one to use.
As all ways thanks a bunch for your time
Nightcat (author) on February 18, 2016:
Hello, DancingSwan! Unfortunately I don't give out my e-mail. Luckily, my advice on any deal with Papa Legba is simple. Come to an agreement on what you are willing to pay, then pay him after you get what you need. For the love of mercy, do not neglect payment as what Legba giveth, he can also taketh away and then some. And that is honestly it. As long as you know you can and intend to pay what he asks for you should be fine.
DancingSwan on February 17, 2016:
Hello again Nightcat
Since I spoke with you a few months ago I have thought much of the deal I wanted to make, and I have decided I want to make it. I am new on this path and I was wondering if there was an email or something that I could reach you at because I have many questions.
Thanks a bunch
Nightcat (author) on November 08, 2015:
DancingSwan, be very careful what you offer. Legba isn't evil or cruel, but he is wily. Think through exactly what you are willing to give as if you say "I'll give you anything" he can take you at your word. Sometimes the spirits are kind and point out they can take advantage of an open ended offer, Legba has warned me when I've said the same exact words in a tight spot, but he can be wily at times. If you make multiple offers he may accept them all, one or none, but you will likely get signs over which offer if any he accepted. He can tell you what he wants in return and sometimes that is the wisest course of action. If you can't agree you can always try and bargain him down, it's something the spirits expect. If you want to make an offer instead of what you will give him start at the least you are willing to give and work up from there as needed. You can always walk away if the terms seem to high and you haven't struck an agreement.
DancingSwan on November 06, 2015:
One more thing,
I am willing to give anything for this deal so if I make multiple offers how will I know which one he accepts? Or will he tell me what he wants in return?
Nightcat (author) on November 05, 2015:
DancingSwan, Well, I'd say think carefully what you are going to ask for and what you are willing to pay before you go. Be respectful, leave a gift you feel is right. And word your request carefully. Legba can pretend at times he didn't understand us and grant exactly what we asked for as a joke when we meant something else.
DancingSwan on November 04, 2015:
I love your article and I was wondering if you had some tips for me, I am looking to make a deal with legba at the crossroads.
Thanks a bunch
Nightcat (author) on November 01, 2015:
Do you have pinterest or DA? You could upload them there. But if you were told it was him, it likely is. Mine has Santa Claus statues and other curious things. People even use toys.
Renee on November 01, 2015:
I found a statue in my "new" century old house and was told it could be a Papa Legba statue. Would you be willing to let me send some photos of it to you?
Nightcat (author) on October 27, 2015:
Wonderful to see you as always, Mirjam! And big hugs to you as well. Papa has perfect timing in all things so I got your reply at just the right time. I've been smelling the aroma of his pipe lately so it's good to see both of you again. Hugs!
Mirjam on October 27, 2015:
Hello nightcat, i'm sorry i didn't answer sooner, you're so right, dear papa legba gets us in the right direction if we just let him do, for example my worklife got a little bit upside down, but it changed extremly for the better, i just hadn't much time for anything else ;)
And no my dear, i wasn't upset at all nor bothered by it, i know what you mean and i can even understand why some people see it that way...for me that's totally ok, we're all individuals so it's totally normal that we all can see things in different ways....and yes it becomes a natural thing showing devotion, as if we'd never done anything else. I'm sure you're right, while reading your comment, it was like i heard him laughing, he has such a great humour and i think it's even viral, cause he even gets me laughing at things, that some time ago i couldn't deal with. I love him for that.
A big hug from switzerland dear nighcat :*
Nightcat (author) on September 17, 2015:
Hi, Mirjam! Feeling much better and I hope my words didn't upset you. The property stamp was the way I was told by several people they view it as. I was warned as I never entered a house that if I got the wrong ink it could offend the spirits actually walking with me, and told it marked me as belonging to that spirit. Obviously they don't see it that way, they understand it's a very loving thing to do. And you're relationship sounds pretty strong and it's great that you can see him in so many ways. Mine is pointing out right now I tend to be blunt like Ogou so I hope the property stamp thing didn't bother you. For me if I'd every get ink it would be a devotional thing and a sign of a bond, the same as it was for you. Heck, I walked into a Mexican restaurant the other day, blissfully forgetting I had my Santisima Muerte ballcap on and the waiter almost fainted. So it becomes a natural thing to show our devotion, something we don't think twice about, and I'm sure Legba was as amused by the waiter's reaction as La Santa was. And Legba's right, every choice we make does lead somewhere better. He's pretty good at getting us to go in the right direction without us even being aware of it.
Mirjam on September 16, 2015:
Hey dearest nightcat, don't worry about that and i hope you're better now? Well that with the property-stamp, i see what you mean but for me it's very much more than just that. On the mainside it's my own way to express my love to him and likely to say i welcome you dearly in my life. And as i see him as sometimes as a fatherly figure that helps me, sometimes as a little brother that reminds of the eyes of the children and how they see things, it's like family, it's like i'd got a ink with the name of my sister. On the other side he reminds me that our life has so many crossroads in a philosofic way, that every decision we take leads us more towards who we really are or better who we could be. Having him so close to me means to me to have something like a teacher at my side in my everyday doing, reminding me to never loose my humour and teaching me that we're finished with learning, that there is so much more out there, we still don't have any idea. It may be a stamp for someone who sees me on the street without knowing my story behind, but i am ok with that. Because i believe that this is sometimes a way of the "universe" to lead people, we could not get along with at all, out of our lifes, leaving space for those we need to meet...a romantic lense but a true one if you trust that there is a reason for almost everything ;)
Good night dearest nightcat.
Big hugs and sweet dreams from switzerland
Nightcat (author) on September 16, 2015:
Hi, Mirjam! I'm glad to see Papa taking care of you so well. And I agree! I'm no mambo, but yes, many people normally ask first and it depends on how the mambo or hougan views things. Some approve, some don't. And I totally respect that, but I'm very happy you found a supportive mambo who can help you on your way, and yes, you will likely have many wonderful spirits to work with.
Nightcat (author) on September 16, 2015:
Hello, Mirjam! Sorry for the delay in replying, I've been a bit under the weather. I think you did the right thing and this is a great example of when people should get a tattoo. When you keep getting repeated dreams, when you keep getting signs, then yes, follow your instincts. Had Papa not wanted that ink on you everything would have went wrong and it just would have never happened. The only reason some people get concerned is it is like putting a property stamp on ourselves. We are say 'this is who I love, who I serve and I belong to Him/Her'. And it can be a very powerful bonding experience. But they have seen people do it, meaning well, then after a while, they kind of drift off, and no, the spirits are not having any of that. But it sounds like you are willing to go the distance with Papa Legba so congrats on the new ink.
Mirjam on September 16, 2015:
Hey dearest, while waiting for your answer i meet one of the very rare mambos here in switzerland. She stopped me as i was walking my favorite way to get to the lake near my work. She said that she saw me a few times before, but as she saw my new tattoo she just had to talk to me. So i told her my story and also that i've written to you. She started laughing and said that normaly people ask mambos or houngans before getting a veve. So i was a little concerned, but then she said that i did the right thing, that people who are asked in such a clear way don't have to fear whem they decide to do what they've been asked for...but that's not all, she said that i'll have to expect more dreams 'cause she "felt" that i'm meant to serve more then one lwa. I am sooo happy that she'd stopped me, we changed our numbers and she said that i can go to her if i ever need help but that i basically should follow my heart, whatever it teaches me to do....so in the meantime i got my answer, but i still want to say thank you for having done such a great work with all the informations you're sharing with the world, and that mambo wants to thank you too, she said that our path without people like you would die instead of growing....so thank you dearest nightcat
A big hug and many sweet kisses from switzerland
Mirjam on September 12, 2015:
Hi dear, im here for the third time now, reading all those very interesting informations, i'm so thankful for all of them. Well, the reason why i'm leaving you a comment now is simple but the story behind is much longer, so i'm sorry for the half book i'm going to write ;)... I've followed the wiccan-path for many years, knowing that there is so much more out there and respecting any form of beliving even if they weren't close to mine. It was almost a year ago that suddenly i began dreaming of a little child who wanted to play with me, but that child spoke to me as if he would've been a few hundreds of years old, so wisely that awaken i was shocked by the things he said. Then i started dreaming of the veve of papa legba as a tattoo on my right underarm, and until that moment i really swear, i've never seen that symbol before. And i didn't thought much about it because i didn't believed that it actualy really existed, i really thought that it was just a very beautiful tattoo...Then a few days later i saw a horrorfilm. And there it was, his veve, and they even talked about him in that film, saying that he was going to protect them....so that was the moment i've began doing research about him and his veve...somewhere inside myself i already knew what i was going to do, but i wasn't so sure that it was the right thing, so the call of dear papa finally got me to your page answering defintely all of my questions. Trough your lens i saw or better i felt that legba was really calling me. So after all this and after reading your page as if it was air to breath, two days ago, i let my dream become reality. I got his veve, on the place he wanted it to be, exactly how i dreamed of it, in a wooden look, with little suns instead of the stars, with a halfmoon on the top of his cane, with real looking leaves and real looking buttons....i really don't know what others think about it, and i know some will going to judge me badly for that, but i got it nevertheless because it felt right and this is also because of all of your informations because i see him know as a father that wants to protect me and leading me when i feel somehow lost....at the just one question, when something like getting a tattoo or doing crazy things are feeling so right, can they be wrong? Ok i already got it and i wouldn't go back to the state before, but i feel that you know so much about it and i wonder what are your thoughts about this...
a big hug and sweet kiss from switzerland (i hope you understand me, i know my grammar isn't the best, i'm still learning english so please excuse me if i said something wrong)
Nightcat (author) on August 22, 2015:
My pleasure, and don't worry about it. Even the cleanest altars (and I'm sure yours is clean) can get unwelcome visitors. It's the same as us eating outside in summer and having to use mesh dish covers.
Meek on August 22, 2015:
Thanks, I will watch my altar more closely.
Nightcat (author) on August 21, 2015:
I've actually had it happen. Just clean the water, obviously. It's actually normal for bugs to try and take a drink, so I wouldn't worry too much. Just keep an eye on the altar and keep it very clean as you can get pest problem from any source of clean water and food offerings. Some people may actually cover the offering chalice, but it's up to you.
Meek on August 21, 2015:
I found a bug in my ancestor water on my altar. Does that mean anything? Dnt want to sound dumb.
Nightcat (author) on August 21, 2015:
My pleasure, Starlynx!
Starlynx on August 21, 2015:
Nightcat (author) on August 20, 2015:
Hello, Starlynx! It depends on who you ask. But if you are approaching him with respect and intend to remain Wiccan otherwise, you may invite him in as you would invite any deity/spirit to attend. If he is approaching you he obviously wants to work with you. That said, in my experience traditional practitioners of Vodoun frown upon mixing the paths, just like some people frown upon mixing Wicca and Christianity. I feel it depends upon your intent. If you have pure motives and he is approaching you to work with him, then you should do so. We have to keep our spirits happy, not other people after all.
Starlynx on August 20, 2015:
Papa Legba has sort of just jumped into my life. I'm Wiccan and am accustomed to casting a circle and calling the Quarters. How would I call Papa Legba into my circle -- or is that taboo -- mixing Voodoo with Wicca? I don't want to offend him.
Nightcat (author) on August 20, 2015:
He will, Mixx, and that sounds like a beautiful idea. Please let us know how it goes.
Mixx on August 19, 2015:
I play guitar...I.d like to put his prayer into music he can enjoy.
I am hoping as I build a relationship...he will guide me to compose it.
Nightcat (author) on August 17, 2015:
Hi, Meek! Since you are concerned and it seems like Legba himself isn't responding I would suggest you find a mambo or hougan who can do a reading, preferably in person. I know right now that is a financial stress for you, so keep looking until you find a price you can manage, and it is just fine to ask your spirits to help you come up with the money. It will let you know if you have him, or just a spirit helping itself to his offerings. We should all have a Legba by default, but you might need to even attend a house when he is going to be feasted or otherwise present. Sometimes they have their reasons and won't tell us any other way. Hope this helps!
meek on August 16, 2015:
The cups of rum I place on my ancestor altar and Papa Legba altar has been missing, but I dnt know if Legba is drinking his offering or is it another energy. I dnt know how to get Legba to respond to me yet. please help if you can.
Nightcat (author) on August 14, 2015:
Meek on August 12, 2015:
Thank you, for all your help.
Nightcat (author) on August 12, 2015:
Keep looking. I got my reading from a mambo who does not normally do them. I don't want to give out her name as I think she no longer does the work, but there are mambos and hougans who will do your head reading for less. Again, ask your spirits to lead you to the right one. Baron himself led me to the right mambo, you might find Legba or another spirit leading you. If they are the right one they will work out a fair price. It depends on how the reading is done and how much work is involved, but those sound like the price ranges I kept running into. Unfortunately the mambo I mentioned recently had to raise her prices, so I can't think of anyone off the top of my head.
Meek on August 11, 2015:
Night cat u are amazing,.thanks for answering my many questions I really appreciate it. It's a place in philly one place. It does nt feel right for some reason I was turned off when I called the house. to find your met tet it cost between $450-$1000
Nightcat (author) on August 11, 2015:
As long as he seems happy for now I'd stick with what you have for him. If he'd drinking the rum that's a good sign. He isn't shy about letting people know what he likes and if he disliked his colors he'd most likely let you know. There should most likely be a house in Philly, if you want to join one ask your spirits to lead you to the right house and teacher.
Meek on August 10, 2015:
I feed lega rum and he drinks it lol.. I was just confused with rada legba having red and white on some readings and purple and gold in others. I live in Philadelphia and I cnt find a house to join. Its actually none that I found here period. I want to serve legba and my other spirits correctly.
Nightcat (author) on August 08, 2015:
Legba is served with different colors depending on the house and what Legba they serve. He has many paths like many other lwa. If you were to join a house you'd go with the offerings and colors that house uses. We don't get to choose who walks with us, they choose us. You may not be happy with the Legba that chose you, but especially if you were initiated into a house it is important to stick with him. As for altars you sound like you may be at the point where you need to join a house if you have not already, or find a good mambo or hougan to do a reading for you. I have no way to tell which spirits you have, so I would advise a reading. If you were told in a reading not to serve a particular spirit and instead to serve another then ask your reader if you can rededicate the altar as I can't speak for the spirits. A good reader can communicate with them and will be able to tell you which one to serve.
Meek on August 08, 2015:
Question. I been reading up on rada lwa legba and some sites say his color is red and white and others.say purple and gold. Some say give him rum and some say vodka. I getting confused. Why such a difference? if I was serving the wrong legba how do I stop and go to the legba of my choice without being punished? for example if one was serving oshun but ment to serve erzilie can I just give that oshun shrine to erzulie or what to do with the shrine?
Nightcat (author) on August 04, 2015:
My pleasure, Meek! That sounds like him, he has a wonderful sense of humor and he's actually pretty warm and loving most of the time, playfully getting our attention.
And since the hub swallowed my other reply, he can be pretty quick to reply and show his power. It certainly sounds like he didn't want the candle for whatever reason.
Meek on August 04, 2015:
I was watching nickelodeon with my kids and who do I see a character in red, white and black I forget what they called him but its was defiantly papa legba. Thank you'll for answering my questions.
Nightcat (author) on August 04, 2015:
Good advice for my other readers, SpiritRune. They also tend to answers in other ways, Legba can be especially "vocal" through things you notice, one mambo calls them pings from the spirits. You'll notice a song, TV show, article, anything even an object or whatever that just seems to be your answer and a lot of the times it is. Not all the time, don't go overboard looking for omens, but you will just notice it and it will make sense as your answer.
Meek on August 04, 2015:
Wow! Funny u say u will see signs. I tried to put a green candle next to papa legba candle and it kept.blowing out. I was like papa dnt want this candle on or near his altar. I feel greatful to find you page.
Nightcat (author) on August 04, 2015:
He can be hard to hear at times. Mine, at least is soft spoken, so if I'm not paying attention I'll miss him completely. I would say the books and videos he leads you to should work, you'll learn what works for you and doesn't. For now read and watch whatever you can find. You'll just know what seems to truly fit Legba and what doesn't. Hope that helps!
SpiritRune on August 03, 2015:
I am not the one you asked but for myself I can say I do not hear Loa or other Gods in the audio sense. What it is, is that you ask a question, hold it in your mind. Then when you happen to get the information from wherever, you consider that to be your answer. Like you found out about the rum, you are already having a dialog. Don't worry you'll get used to it and you'll start to be able to tell better the difference between just plain noise and a real mystical response.
If you ever lucky enough to find yourself with mediums who can call down the Loa you can ask things more directly that way too and of course through divination.
AtlantaBanks on August 03, 2015:
How long b4 you heard papa speak tou? I dnt want to disappoint him. I found today that I wasn't suppose to put rum in his water just give him full dose of rum. Is there any book you recommend or videos.?
Nightcat (author) on August 03, 2015:
Good question! If you cleanse and protect with sage you should be good, especially with Papa Legba there. Part of his work is keeping the bad things away. Really in Vodoun he is the gate opener, so he opens and closes the gate, protects and defends, he's the one who can call all the others in and let them pass. If he's around he will protect you himself, but do what you feel the most comfortable with. Hope this helps!
AtlantaBanks on August 03, 2015:
I learned more from your page today than I have in a month. I have a question about a witch circle. I never did a circle when I call papa but I do cleanse with sage. Should I always do a circle?
Nightcat (author) on August 03, 2015:
Thank you for the lovely song, AtlantaBanks! Papa is speaking through my visitors as usual so I am very happy he drew you here.
AtlantaBanks on August 03, 2015:
I love your page. I had this song http://youtu.be/k0S-phIPKZY in my head for over a week straight. I been learning and giving offerings to PAPA for a while. I was defiantly drawn to your page.
Nightcat (author) on July 22, 2015:
Very true. I like to see them all as different aspect of the same being, if it makes sense. I actually have a Ganesh statue as well and Legba certainly seemed fascinated and approving of anyone who loves learning as much as he does. Many faces, yes?
SpiritRune on July 22, 2015:
Who else is like Legba is Ganesh (Hindu, India) and he has besides being first- a key, a lamp and gates. Very worthwhile reading stories of him bearing in mind the similarity.
Nightcat (author) on June 10, 2015:
Hi, Nycto! It depends on what books you can get in your country, but a good one that might help would be Vodou Visions by Sallie Ann Glassman. It gives you the basics of the religion and give you profiles of a lot of Legba's paths and ideas on how to work with him and many others. I don't know if there is a Spanish translation out yet, but I treat my copy as reference and general outline. For fiction there is Mojo Conjure Stories by Nalo Hopkins that shows a lot of his faces. I like it because it helped me understand his paths and how vastly different he can be. There should be some sites out there to help you in Spanish but I don't have a book I can think of offhand. Hope that helps!
Nycto on June 09, 2015:
Hi, Nightcat! See, I'ven been searching a lot about Papa Legba and I haven't found a lot in spanish and neither something really informative until I found this article. I haven't started anything yet with Legba, 'cause I'm searching all I can before that so I can do it good, so I was wondering if you could help me. Wicca is just starting to grow here and it's actually easy to find people to talk with, but Vodou, well, I haven't met any practising and the ones that work with it are usually doing bad stuff for money. That's why I'm writing this. Maybe you could suggest me a good book to start or we could talk somewhere else.
Thank you, have a nice day!
Nightcat (author) on January 01, 2015:
Hi, Antonia! With him it honestly depends on who you ask. I know some houses do work with him. Calling him dangerous might be more useful. Being as he is, walking between the points of the cross of his veve give you a clue of how chaotic and destructive his energy can be. I'd say if you get the right person to guide you he can be worked with. I was taught you can, but usually to pay him to stay away, but again, some people work with him in houses.
Antonia on December 29, 2014:
Your article was very helpful. I was wondering if you can tell me a little bit more about Kalfou? I know many say he is evil, however, I feel that he is largely misunderstood, and is quite passionate. What is your input on him?
Thank you for taking the time to respond.
Nightcat (author) on November 16, 2014:
Hello, Andrew! I'd let your Legba make that call. The longer you work with him the better you'll know when to take things away, but obviously if things start to go bad or stale you can replenish them. But it is all up to him, honestly. I hope that helps,. there's really no hard or fast rule, and everyone is different, but go with what feels right. He'll find a way to let you know how you are doing.
Andrew on November 15, 2014:
Thank you for this page and the detail you've gone into regarding Papa. Can I ask a bit of advice? I have my own Legba now and a little dish in which I add offerings, such as sweets, coins and now a miniature cup of coffee to match the size of my Legba! As I'm very very new to the faith and the subject though, when would you remove and replenish the offerings you've made to him? Thank you
Nightcat (author) on March 04, 2014:
@Arachnea: That's how I got called by the spirits as well, Arachnea. I followed my interests and learned how wonderful they really are. Thanks so very much for visiting! :)